My Story 3

My story ages 20-30

Entering my 20s, I embarked on a journey that defied the expectations laid out by my Punjabi family. At 18, I left home to pursue a law degree, a decision my parents courageously supported, trusting my choices as a young woman of marriageable age. My mother’s reminder of our family’s standing in the community underscored their faith in me. “Always remember, how high your father’s turban is.”

Yet, as I delved into the world of higher education and law, the looming prospect of an arranged marriage nagged at me. The unspoken expectation was that I would follow the predetermined path set by my parents: education, a career in law, arranged marriage, and children – the blueprint for a “better life” than theirs. However, upon earning my law degree, I confronted two glaring issues: firstly, a reluctance to conform to the prescribed life, and secondly, a profound uncertainty about what I truly desired.

The challenge for me lay not only in rejecting the predetermined course but in grappling with a simple fact, I didn’t know what I wanted. I recognized amid this confusion that I had to figure out what I wanted, discover a way to untangle myself from family expectations, and successfully land on my feet.

To unravel this internal turmoil, I posed two pivotal questions to myself: What would I pursue if I had the freedom to choose anything? And, what genuinely interested me? These inquiries prompted a self-discovery journey, starting with classes in pottery, yoga, T’ai Chi, design, and reflexology. Immersing myself in esoteric literature and exploring innovative healing modalities became integral to my quest for self-understanding.

The pursuit of answers eventually led me to The Land Of Enchantment, New Mexico, where I enrolled at the Nizhoni College of Divinity. There, I learned the art of meditation, explored world religions, and how to harness consciousness as a tool for healing. New Mexico became a nurturing environment, aligning with my temperament and professional interests, making the idea of returning to the UK seem daunting.


As part of my studies, I was delving further into my early years, uncovering layers of my past that were once indiscernible to me. I began to recognize the impact of addiction within my family and community, the heavy chains of generational trauma, and the poignant realization that I was tethered to traditions that were not supporting my growth.


While I had subtly evaded discussions about marriage, asserting that I wasn’t ready or was too focused on my studies, the time came to confront the issue. As my father visited me in New Mexico, I mustered the courage to reveal my unwillingness to have an arranged marriage – a decision I couldn’t recall ever agreeing to I told him. My father was not pleased and didn’t say very much on the topic. I also showed him a tattoo that I had gotten to which he said “That’s not necessary.” “I know,” I replied. “ It’s just for fun.”

As we ended our walk that evening, so did the question about arranged marriage. That was about as far as I wanted to push this conversation with my dad.